Dear Friends of The Merwin Conservancy,
As we carry forward W.S. Merwin’s legacy of resistance and resilience, and tend a place so intimately connected to that legacy, we are engaged in practices of preservation and restoration—of objects and books, of structures like the house and garden dojo, and this small altar that sits along the meandering stone path from the house to the carport. It’s a place to make offerings and set intentions as one embarks on a journey. We’re also extending the life of intangible things, like rituals. We replenish the beautiful tea canisters in the kitchen with Tieguanyin oolongs as we look ahead to long-awaited gatherings. And we restock William and Paula’s fridge with blueberries so that we—and soon, future participants in our emerging residency program—can continue their daily practice of leaving treats for the cardinals on the breakfast lanai.
Just as we preserve and restore, we also find ourselves embracing entropy. Rather than seeking to arrest and encapsulate time in this special place, we’re inviting a new chapter of the vibrant creative life that has long flourished here, and this means allowing change to unfold. Special books, notes, and letters will rest in climate controlled conditions, but the shoes piled at the front door, on a shelf of William’s making, will slowly succumb to the elements in this tropical place. We won’t seek to preserve the topsiders and penny loafers turned garden shoes, or replace them with look-alikes. Instead, we’ll preserve the intention; we’ll ensure that shoes in all sizes remain at the ready by the door, and continue to invite the eager and easy movement of bodies and imaginations between house and garden.